Future collegians end high school careers with first-ever Fargo championships

By Mike Finn, WIN


Iowa Max Lyon will carry a Junior National freestyle title with him to Purdue after beating Jack Jessen of Illinois at 182 pounds. (G. Wyatt Schultz photo)

FARGO, N.D. — Drew Mattin and Ben Freeman will eventually team up at the University of Michigan so the future Wolverines did not have to come to the Fargodome to impress any of the many Division I wrestling coaches who attended the 2017 United States Marine Corps Junior Freestyle Nationals on Tuesday afternoon.

Yet Mattin and Freeman had something to prove to themselves before they begin their future college careers in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“I’ve never won Fargo here before,” said Freeman, a native of Walled Lake, Mich., who scored a technical fall over Jeremy Schoenherr of Wisconsin to claim the 138-pound championship. “I had come pretty close by finishing second and third before. I had never gotten the job done. I knew this year I had to get it done and had it set in my mind.”

Mattin, a three-time state of Ohio high school champ from Delta, Ohio, had a similar story before arriving in Fargo for the fourth time in his career.

“In the past I took fourth, second, fourth,” said Mattin, who defeated Paul Konrath of Mount Vernon, Ind., 8-1 to claim the 126-pound championship. “I wanted to get my stop sign (championship award). Michigan is a great place to train all spring and summer. They prepared me by getting beat up a little bit in their room. Also, I was not a Top-100 recruit and that bothered me.”

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